It has been estimated that air transport in Nigeria will grow by 5% in the next 20 years with increase in demands that will enable airlines contribute about USD $0.4 billion and 61,000 jobs for the emerging Nigerian economy.
Presenting a paper titled ‘sustainable aircraft maintenance hangar the imperative for the Nigerian aviation industry’, at the seminar NEC meeting of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Dr Titus Kehinde Olaniyi, special resource person at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Zaria, remarked that the air transport industry generates and supports 6.7 million jobs in Africa and contributes USD $67.8billion to GDP.
According to Dr. Olaniyi the air transport in the country has been growing since mid 1980’s and 1990’s with deregulation and emergence of domestic airlines in GDP.
He regretted that despite the growth, the number of airlines in the country depreciated to the extent that most of the early starters no longer existed adding that out of the 30 airlines operating in the 1990’s only about seven scheduled flights in 2010.
Dr. Olaniyi explained that inconsistent regulatory policies, deteriorating infrastructures with obsolete facilities, negligence and managerial incompetence contributed to the failings.
He noted that airlines negligence of industry best practice in aircraft operations and maintenances has contributed to several aircraft cashes and folding up of the airlines while managerial incompetence led to fund misappropriations, manpower mismanagement and high indebtedness.
According to him, the lack of sustainable aircraft maintenance hangars has negatively impacted on Nigerian airlines and their ability to operate sustainable in an inherently complex and dynamic global air transport industry.
Dr. Olaniyi explained that the systematic failure of the airline industry could be traced to unsustainable aircraft maintenance policies resulting from ageing aircraft, lack of appropriate maintenance personnel, non availability of aircraft hangars where proper checks or maintenance can be carried out.
He noted further that the provision for maintenance facility of the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) was currently inadequate for the nations needs, tracing the demise of Okada airline to the exorbitant cost of heavy maintenance tasks that could have been avoided assuming the maintenance hangars were present in Nigeria.
Dr Olaniyi asserted that more airlines will go down should the nation fail to provide a sustainable maintenance frame work including domesticated maintenance hangar.
According to him undefined government support has jeopardized actions by some airlines to build their hangars. He explained that having MRO in the country will save airline huge revenue spent abroad on aircraft maintenance and reduce capital flightNo tags for this post.